Bakers Creek Air Crash MemorialPrint Page
A monument was unveiled in May 1992 to honour 41 American servicemen aboard a United States warplane that crashed near Bakers Creek on 14 June 1943. The monument consists of two brick pillars to which flagpoles and plaques are attached. Between the pillars is an airscrew of the type fitted to Douglas DC3 Dakota aircraft. Fixed above the propeller is a bronze model of a Flying Fortress aircraft that was added on 13 June 2003.
The American soldiers were enjoying a weekend of rest and recreational activities and the crash is considered Australia`s worst air disaster. The aircraft, delayed because of thick fog, took off at 6am and was in the air for just two minutes before crashing into bushland at Bakers Creek. The cause remains a mystery, although some witnesses blamed pilot error. Relatives of those who died in the accident were kept in the dark because of wartime censorship restrictions and some details of the crash are still being pieced together today.
The Australian and United States flags were raised daily by Bob and Vivienne Deakin who were sent a Certificate of Congressional Recognition in 2005 for their efforts.
|Address:||Contor Drive & Ivers Street, Community Hall, Bakers Creek, 4740|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -21.220064|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Event STart Date:||14-June-1943|
|Actual Event End Date:||14-June-1943|
|Actual Monument Dedication Date:||Monday 11th May, 1992|
On June 14 1943 a VH CBA B-17C aircraft of the United States Army Air Force crashed shortly after take-off approximately 1km north of here on the opposite side of Bakers Creek near the site where the meatworks now stands.
On board were five crew and thirty-eight passengers who were returning to New Guinea after completing R and R in Mackay. There was only one survivor. The aircraft was operated by the 46th Troop Carrier Squadron of the 317th Troop Carrier Group which formed part of the 5th Air Force.
The crash of the B-17C was the worst accident involving a transport aircraft in the South-West Pacific during World War II.
This memorial was constructed by the people of Mackay District in honour of the forty-two United States military personnel who were killed and the one survivor, and was dedicated on 11th May 1992.